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post #1 of 38 Old 06-04-2007 Thread Starter
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"Blue Water Boats?" "Rescues"

Is it just me or does it seem that a lot of rescues are going on lately? Are we "sailors" becoming soft and at the first sign of trouble abandoning ship, or is it due to the light construction of modern day "Blue water" cruisers? I just read about two more boats abandoned this past weekend.

I'm inspired by Donna Lang's story, circumnavigating in the southern ocean on a 28 foot boat! What determination and solid little boat it must take. She was caught in that huge storm off the east coast back in April, and while rounding the Horn, both of which sank or caused people to abandon their boats.

The construction of most boats today are geared toward the market of coastal cruising and dockside living space. It's great to have all that room when you get there, but what if you never make it! What happened to solid well balanced seaworthy vessels. It's prob also due to the fact that it's so convienient to get off your boat

"Hey coast gaurd. we're tired now, time to go home."
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post #2 of 38 Old 06-04-2007
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Another good example are the people in the 40-something Hylas that had to get fuel and food from the US Navy because they decided they needed to motor in a storm, rather than sail.

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post #3 of 38 Old 06-04-2007
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The 4 boats that were lost in the recent storm off NC were all ruggedly constructed blue water boats that were simply overwelmed by conditions OR had gear failure more related to maintenance than construction. (i.e. engine failure...steering cable failure..drogue rode chafe). On the other hand, we have had some gear failures due to construction like the Hunter off Hawaii...and other failures due to poor seamanship (Barnes ...IMHO).
So... I don't think the overwhelming trend to lightly built production boats has much to do with abandonment stats overall since the vast majority of those boats are sailed in the waters they are designed for.
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post #4 of 38 Old 06-04-2007
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Suspicion this end is that with all those electronic gee gaws (is that how you spell gee gaw ? eh ?) there is a sense of confidence that might be lacking if all that was available was a sextant and a paper chart.

Andrew B

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post #5 of 38 Old 06-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Another good example are the people in the 40-something Hylas that had to get fuel and food from the US Navy because they decided they needed to motor in a storm, rather than sail.
Wow. I love the Hylas to death (talk about COMFORTABLE below - oh man), but I'm a little shy of the capsize screening ratio of the 46 (2.01 IIRC, which is always an open question).

And I felt unseamanlike when I didn't have canvas available on my 26 foot Columbia in the 70+ mph storm a couple weeks ago, and had to rely on the engine. If I'd had a Hylas, the command from the helm would've been, "a bit choppy up here - don't spill your mocha!"

Cheers!

(BTW, seriously, SERIOUSLY lust for the Hylas 46..... When I buy Powerball tickets, it alternates between the Valiant fund and the Hylas fund.)

Phil Moyer
S/V Puddleduck
Columbia 26K
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post #6 of 38 Old 06-25-2007
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Smile Why not ?

An Island Packet 485

Sure the Hylas is buti-mous, but my Lotto short list is the IP.
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post #7 of 38 Old 06-25-2007
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I don't think it's the boats - I think it's a case of "Fred and Betty" retiring and fulfilling their lifelong dream of sailing around the world, after taking a two-week cruising course.
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post #8 of 38 Old 06-26-2007
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I concur. Too much money, too many years and too few hours on the water in crappy, get yourself home or drown boats.

We stopped at 40 feet (admittedly a pretty husky 40 feet) because that was all the boat my wife thought she could handle solo under "challenging" conditions, like 12 foot seas and 30 knots 1,000 miles offshore. She's about Ellen MacArthur's size and just turned 33.

When I think of the skinny old birds I see on 50 footers, even here on Lake Ontario, I cringe. Perhaps it's the whirr of the electric-assist winches hauling up a 750 sq. ft. main, or maybe it's the gurgle of the bow thruster as they struggle to dock their vast yacht in 10 knots of off-dock breeze, but I seriously wonder what makes a couple who together weigh about 230 pounds decide to take all that money they earned working desk jobs for 40 years and blow it on way too much boat.
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post #9 of 38 Old 06-26-2007
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If you inspect these boats, would you find all that is necessary to survive out there on the big blue??
Just starting with spare parts for all the mechanical things on board? Spare halyards and other running gear? turn buckles, shackles and other jewelry to repair shrouds and Stays? Repair a sail? Repair the mast or boom?
Patience to take the events of every day on the sea with other people? There some people I will never go to sea with and having to deal with their angst.
Dealing with daily routine of a watch, and the maintenance of the vessel while off shore? This includes the ability to go long periods without having to turn on a TV or get on an electronic game system.
This is just a few of the details that will make the boat & crew ready for that long distance haul across the big ponds. And if they can't get across the Atlantic...Then don't even let them attempt the Pacific Ocean.
Please do a few coastal trips first to develop your skills on the boat and find out what is needed to improve the vessel for cruising.
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post #10 of 38 Old 06-26-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormann
I don't think it's the boats - I think it's a case of "Fred and Betty" retiring and fulfilling their lifelong dream of sailing around the world, after taking a two-week cruising course.
I also think the Internet has something to do with it.

I am one of those people who has a dream of cruising and not enough experience to do it safely yet. I have done a fair amount of small boat inland sailing and I can make a boat go where I want when the elements cooperate. If I get a small cruiser and go out a few times in good conditions and then have a minor squall blow up and handle it OK, it will be really easy to convince myself that I am ready to handle the big stuff.

So where does the net come in? Well, up until a few years ago, I made some common assumptions about cruising that don't seem to be completely correct. I did not have ready access to the stories of plenty of "regular folks" that went out and got a boat for not too much money and then sailed it all over the place on a low budget. Also, route planning and regulations are right at your fingertips. In an evening or two, I could probably put together a plan for a blue water cruise that included alternate routes, check points and a list of things to bring that included the right amount of food, water, safety equipment and documents. Could I execute this plan? If everything went right I probably could. Will everything go right? Hell no! I have to keep reminding myself of this.

The Internet allows you to find out a lot of things quickly, but it's really easy to fall into the trap of substituting research for experience.

Last edited by arbarnhart; 06-26-2007 at 12:45 PM.
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